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Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Feeble Attempt at Windsurfing...Cabarete, D.R.

Well 'feller barstool sailors, contrary to prevailing perceptions I can and do gets' an occasional urge to do a little sailin' once in a whiles not 'dat I 'specs any of you fine folks to neccessarily give a rat's ass one ways or another.

And whiles my infrequent sailin' urges do be sumwhats akin to a "typin'-wit'-one-hand" kind of urge, it still be but an infrequent urge that one mights perhaps randomly indulge in jest' to proves 'dat one still cans.

So yep, 'dat was me out on the water one lovely morning while vacationing in La Republica Dominicana, and doing my darndest to do a little windsurfing 'jest to prove 'dat I could.

Unfortunately I be the first to admit 'dat I didn't do too good at my one and only attempt on the board. I'll also has ya'll know 'dat windsurfing ain't easy either. In fact, I'd say it was darn right hard keeping meself' upright on 'dat board.

No sooner would I'd get up on 'dat board when I'd suddenly lose my balance and plunge back on into the water. In hindsight my feeble attempt at windsurfing kinda-sorta reminds me of the time when I took Salsa Dance lessons a whiles back. And I also be da' first to admit 'dat 'dem Salsa Dance lessons was an ill advised whim resulting in unequivocal failure.

Nope, some things jest' ain't meant to be and windsurfing along wit' Salsa Dancing 'jest ain't be in da' works fer' me.

And I'll also has ya' knows 'dat I now be pushing sixty here shortly and ain't a kid no mo'. Yippers... I be a barstool sailor and it a suit me jest' fine. In any event I should probly' feel good about da' fact dat' I can raise my "mast" wit' hardly any effort whatsoevers which be a mighty fine thing now 'dat I comes to think of it!

Casa Mami's. Excellent local fare at a reasonable price. Cabarete, D.R.

Sosua, D.R.

Cabarete, D.R.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Me Thinkin' Better of Swipin' a Paddle Boat...

Well feller' sailers'... I'll have ya'll know dat' I now be a workin' 'fer a livin' and 'dat I ain'ts had either 'da time or inclination to do any sailing here lately.

Nevertheless I did done recently founds me a fine paddle boat a lying abouts unclaimed beneath sum' old house in 'da backwoods of Everglades City 'jest da' other day.

And I'll also have ya'll knows 'dat I was most tempted to swipe dat' dern boat when nobody be a lookin' too but I done changed my mind after learnin' 'dat it had once belonged to a local tribe of Seminole Injuns' from back in 'da day.

For ya' see, I chickened out after learning 'dat these same Injuns' had assaulted and later brutally kilt' sum' mean feller who's name I already done forgots', after strongly suspecting him of having murdered a number of their own whom he had previously hired in the days immediately preceding their demise.

Evidently 'dat mean son-of-a-gun would off his hired help and later conveniently dispose of 'dem poor souls amongst the alligator infested mangroves when payday would roll around. And since 'dem Injuns' weren't no dummies, they soon figured him out and gave him some of his own medicine.

So yeah... I do believe 'dat I done did 'da right thing to change my mind 'bout swipin' 'dat paddle boat 'cause fer' sure I didn't want to then possibly incur the wrath of any Injun' spirits still a lurkin' about that isolated community.

By the way.... why anybody would wanna' refer to this fishin' village as a city is well beyond my high level of edukashion 'cause if da' truth be known, 'dis here dot-on-a-map ain't even gots' itself so much as a Starbucks or even a McDonald's 'fer 'dat matter.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Poo-Pooing Beaches 'Cause I Now Feel That Way...

It occurred to me the other day that I happen to be presently residing within but a mile or two of a pristine, sandy beach and yet for whatever compelling reason can't seem to get all worked up about it.

Yep, ya'll heard me right. I live nearby a beach that happens to be highly coveted by tourists from all over the world and I for one couldn't care any less.

In fact, I'm hard pressed at this very moment to tell you when I last aimlessly strolled along the Marco Island Beach shown above.

For you see, pristine beaches along with its deep blue oceans have for whatever reason, ceased to enthrall me for some time now. Nope, I'd rather go hike the Appalachian Trail if the truth be known. At least it would be a new life experience to say the least.

In any event I have nevertheless been fortunate to have visited and enjoyed a number of beaches over the years. But like I just done said, they 'jest ain't tugging at my heart strings no more.

Seven Seas Beach, Las Croabas Puerto Rico with El Yunque and National Rain Forest in the background. And if per chance you ever happen to be doing the tourist thing in Puerto Rico, then be sure to take some time out and trek on up the trails to the peak for a majestic view of the coastline and Saint Thomas for that matter.

And if per chance you've already trekked on up the peak then consider trekking on down from the parking facilities midway up the park on down to the base of the mountain. The foliage gets exponentially denser and the trail more precarious leaving one feeling as if one were actually in a scene from the movie Romancing The Stone from awhile back.


Seven Seas Beach, Las Croabas Puerto Rico. A most delightful secluded beach on the north east end of the island.

Bill Baggs Beach, Key Biscayne

Bill Baggs Key Biscayne.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park occupies approximately the southern third of the island of Key Biscayne, at coordinates WikiMiniAtlas

25°40′25″N 80°09′34″W / 25.67361°N 80.15944°W / 25.67361; -80.15944. The park includes the Cape Florida Light, the oldest standing structure in Greater Miami. In 2005 the park was ranked as having the 8th best beach in the country.

The park is named in honor of Bill Baggs, editor of The Miami News from 1957 until his death in 1969. He worked to protect the land from development, to preserve some of the key in its natural state, and was also a civil rights activist.

In 2004 a large historical marker was erected at the site to mark it as part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Trail, as hundreds of Black Seminoles, many fugitive slaves, escaped from here to freedom in the Bahamas, settling mostly on Andros Island. In the early 1820s, some 300 American slaves reached the Bahamas, aboard 27 sloops and many canoes.[3] The US National Park Service is working with the Bahamas, particularly the African Bahamanian Museum and Research Center (ABAC) in Nassau, to develop interpretive programs at Red Bays, Andros.

(Preceding Wikipedia narrative brazenly copied & pasted without any permission whatsoever.)
By the way... I can't help but recall being gifted three large sewing needles by the "Sewing Lady" in Nichols Town, Andros Island. This was after sailing there back '89 while aboard S/V BratCat.

Her shop happened to be located next door to the "Campbell's Food Store. She politely yet resolutely refused payment for her needles. I still silently thank her for gesture whenever I come across hearing about Andros Island.

Padre Island, South Texas. Not a pleasant beach to say the least.

Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. Incidentally my favorite.

Cancun, Mexico, then yet again this may have been Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. I just don't recall.

Miami Beach

Marco Island Beach

The first time I sailed on in to Marco Island, I had assumed the the condominiums along the shoreline had all been obliterated by a hurricane and had yet to be rebuilt because of a stagnant economy. I was later informed that that wasn't the case and that the "winter snowbird" condo owners had simply shuttered up the windows for hurricane season.

Marco Island Beach, fourth

View from atop of El Yunque National Rain Forest. Puerto Rico

Destin, Florida. 2002.

Yes, that's me wearing the red swim trunks and the same safari hat that I still own and wear when sailing.

Seven Seas Beach, National Park Reserve, Las Croabas, Puerto Rico

A most delightful secluded beach to stroll along.

Luquillo Beach. Puerto Rico

And while Fort Myers Beach is indeed a very attractive beach insofar beaches are concerned, to me it's but another overcrowded beach catering to tourists.

While sipping on a few cold beverages with my lady-friend from atop a business establishment, a large speedboat could be seen precariously racing close to shore amongst some bathers.

My lady-friend was quick to nonchalantly point out that "the bigger and louder the boat, then the smaller the d***"... I'll take her word for it.

Tortuero, Costa Rica... and yes, sea turtles make it a point to lay their eggs on this beach and poachers beware... you will be shot on sight, no questions asked.

Playa Del Carmen, Costa Rica.
I've seen nicer beaches. A surfer's paradise nonetheless.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Blondie Gets a Wardrobe Makeover...

Well folks... I'll have ya'll know that the radio dial in my fully depreciated car is more often than not set to Gator Country not that I expected any of you fine folks to give a rat's ass one way or another.

And yes... I did indeed say Gator Country, as in country music on your FM dial broadcasting all throughout Southwest Florida. And not 'fer nuttin' do they call it Gator Country, 'cause if 'da truth be known, Southwest Florida has been run amok by menacing alligators for some time now.

In fact, my lady-friend tells me of the time when she mindlessly stepped outside early one morning to retrieve the newspaper only to then inadvertently step upon a gator's tail who happened to be casually snoozing on her front porch. It also goes without saying that this little incident did indeed scare the crap out of her. Or so she claims anyways...

Nevertheless I do suppose that it could have been a far worse experience for her that morning 'cause it just as easily could have been a Jehova's Witness knocking on her door while eagerly awaiting to pounce upon her with a load of religious crap before she'd even had her first cup of coffee. But I suppose that you already done knew that.

In any event there are indeed lurking alligators all throughout Southwest Florida stealthily lying in wait to make a meal out of sum' unsuspecting poochie-dog or even a distracted fellow for that matter. So yeah, gators can be routinely spotted all throughout this part of Florida.

In fact, I'd even say that the only thing out numbering all 'dem mofo gators are all the ol' farts from up north shufflin' along from one food buffet line to another.

Yippers... it's that time of the year and it's what's called "High Season" here in Southwest Florida. And I can assure you all that it is an annual event somewhat akin to having an infestation of locusts suddenly descend from out of the sky not that I've ever had the misfortune to experience such an event.

And trust me on this one feller sailers'... 'der ain't nuttin' more aggravating than to get behind the wheel of 'sum ol' geezer pokin' along the highway in an over sized, fuddie-duddie Town Car... especially one still sportin' a Romney-Ryan bumper sticker.

Nevertheless having said all that, I do kindly ask 'dat ya'll don't go a-tellin' anyone 'dat I do indeed tune in for a little country music from time to time while driving 'cause country music 'jest ain't all 'dat cool with the many young and not so young, hot latina ladies residing throughout Florida.

Oh... I almost forgots' to tell ya'll.... Blondie-Dog now gots' herself a brandy-new sacrificial on her jib and a new mainsail cover to boot. Yippers... Blondie now looks like she belongs amongst all 'dem other fine lookin' boats here at the Calusa Island Marina.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Yippers! I Now Be a Highly Acclaimed Poet thanks to Dr. Seuss!

Well feller sailers', I'll have ya'll knows 'dat I is now a bona fide poet and 'dat I done wrotes' me a fine poem 'dat even da' likes of Robert Frost and Emily Dickinson would have been a mighty proud to have claimed as 'der own.

Yippers... my lofty little poem 'dat I done already submitted to Cruisers Forum, now be universally acclaimed to be amongst 'da finest evers' written 'bout enduring brutal, nasty weather whiles' a clingin' onto a marina mooring ball.

And folks, I gotta' tells ya 'dat 'dis here poem gots' plenty of nautical insight and beer induced perspectives as to what it's really like to be a liveabord sailer' at anchor fer' days on end if I do say so's myself.

So wit' out any further-a-do, here be my highly acclaimed poem!

Can You Sail in a Gale?

Can you sail, in a gale?
And did you wail while under sail?

I did indeed sail in a gale.
And I later even peed off the rail!

Have you ever tied a knot?
Or was it a mistake and all for naught?

Of course I've tied a knot, yet done did it without any thought.
And it’s still there ‘cause I already done forgot!

Can you splice a line?
And did you drink up all that wine?

Sure I can splice a line and without the usual whine.
And gulp, that was some mighty fine red wine!

Can you set an anchor, without too much rancor?
Or was that you a-hollering late one night and spewing out some anger?

Yes I can set an anchor without hardly any rancor.
But it was my own noisy halyard that set off my feller' neighbor's banter!

And might you have a putty-cat to snuggle with at nights?
Or is it jest’ you in that v-berth without any delight?

Why yes I found a pussy-cat to snuggle with at nights.
And together we take turns, turning down the lights, for a little delight!

And did you read some books while a-living aboard your boat?
Or did you piddle your time away takin' one too many tokes?

Well heck no did I do any tokes, nor did I fish for the square grouper you silly bloke.
But I did happen to read Dr. Seuss’s classics I’ll have you note!


I wish to thank and extol the creative genius of Dr. Seuss from way back in the day.

I'll also haves' ya'll know 'dat it be a dog-gone shame that many of us had to endure the mind-numbin' Dick and Jane books that were forced upon us while being held in first grade captivity.

And if per chance I was to come across Spot, 'den I'd 'fer sure give 'dat stupid mutt a swift kick in the hind quarters when nobody be a-looking. 'Dats whut' I gots to say dadgommit!

This is what the Square Grouper looks like in case ya' might have been a-wonderin'.

Yippers! I now be a highly acclaimed poet!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Spoiler Alert! The Streets of Old San Juan are Paved in Ballast!...

Greetings feller' sailers'!

Not 'dat ya'll already didn't knows' 'dis, but jest' in case I'll have ya'll know 'dat the streets of Old San Juan are paved with ballast of all things.

Not gold mind ya' for if 'dat had been the case, 'den fer' sure somebody would have swiped it all by now. (present company excluded of course...)

Nope, all 'dem blue cobble-stones a lying about the streets of Old San Juan was simply the ballast of choice back in the days when Spanish Galleons would sail across the Atlantic wit' da' expressed intent of retrieving whatever fortunes had already been plundered in 'da New World.

And of course it goes wid'out sayin' 'dat gold was the ballast of choice for the return trip back home.

But what ya'll prob'ly don't knows is 'dat on the east coast of the island is a mighty fine marina 'wit all the amenities 'dat a feller' sailer' could possibly want with the possible exception of Heineken beer.

For ya see, I seem to vaguely remember drinkin' up all 'dem Heinekens while at the marina bar one night before being unceremoniously booted out of the place and told 'dat they done run out of Heinekens. But 'den yet agin', 'dat bar manager might have been a tellin' me a fib' 'fer all I knows.

In any event, 'dat fine upscale marina was designed and constructed in conformity with the King of Spain's edict back in the day. An edit 'dat stated 'dat all Spanish ports were to have a pier wide enough to accommodate his horse carriage should he personally elect to visit the new world.

Hence the name of 'dat fine marina. "Marina Puerto del Rey".

Marina Puerto del Rey, Bahia Demajagua, Puerto Rico

Yep... 'dat be me 'wit my young 'un a standing alongside a Spanish Galleon after furtively searching in vain fer' a bit of "ballast". Barcelona, Spain. 1991.

Dang!  'dat be 'sum mighty fine ballast if anybodys where to ask me.

And by da' way feller' sailers'... if per chance ya' mights happen to come across a certain barstool sailer' a claiming 'dat milk be bad fer' ya' and dat' ya' shouldn't be a drinkin' it, den' rest assured dat' he only be a tellin' ya' dis' 'cause he wants ya' to purchase a case or two of his gawd-awful soy milk dat' he gots' stored in his bilge.

Yippers, rest assured 'dat that soy milk he be a carting around as ballast ever since he done got booted out of Cuba is so gawd-awful 'dat not even the local Cuban populace wanted any part of it. So consider yor'selves forewarned folks 'cause 'dat barstool feller' be F.O.S. is what I says.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I Was Doin' Jest' Fine, Dadgummit!

Well 'feller sailors, I'll have y'all know that I was doing jest' fine getting on with my new landlubber life but that was only up until I just so happened to stumble upon a new TV program on The Weather Channel.

And I'll also have y'all know that after stumbling upon that new program, I unexpectedly found myself dwelling upon a few impressionable moments that in retrospect have been a source of lingering consternation.

For ya' see, my somewhat recent "vagrant-on-a-boat" cruising experience had only just started to subside in earnest now that I've been off the boat for the past few months.

But that all changed in but an instant upon me recognizing a familiar face on a new program featuring the US Coast Guard in South Florida of all things.

'Cause featured in that one particular episode was none other than a young Coast Guard rescuer cheerfully explaining how he and the rest of his helicopter crew mates rescued two scuba divers who had somehow separated from their dive boat and were now lost out at sea somewhere off of Key West.

Yep... that Coast Guard corpsman, all geared up and being lowered by cable from a helicopter into open waters to rescue two wayward divers was none other than the same fellow whom I'd previously prepared a free, promotional, Federal Tax return for this past tax season.

I'll also have y'll know that it wasn't his name or even so much as his face that first drew my attention to him but rather the sound of his southern, melodious, Virginia drawl not that any of this matters one way or another.

Just hearing and watching that fellow on the TV immediately set me to recalling a bit of unwelcomed interaction I had encountered after being engaged by a US Coast Guard vessel in the Key West Channel late one evening. It was an engagement that I am convinced precipitated a subsequent "visit" by a vessel from the Department of Homeland Security but a few days later.

And I'll certainly have y'll know that it was late one evening towards the end of tax season last April, when after putting in a number of hours preparing tax returns for disgruntled clients, and after later indulging in a few cold ones at one of the many dockside bars, (okay, maybe more than just a few brews... but who's counting?) that I eventually resigned myself to calling it an evening and reluctantly head on back to my boat.

I'll also be the first to admit that I had indeed procrastinated the inevitable wet dinghy ride on back to my boat that evening after furtively hoping in vain that one of the many boisterous, attractive, come-hither, ladies at that bar might perhaps take more that just a casual interest in me and graciously invite me on over to her place for a little "cuddling".

'Cause like I said, I really wasn't keen on dinghying on out to my boat in crappy weather at that late hour of the evening.

And when I say cuddling, I do very much mean it in a guy sort of way 'cause ya' certainly don't need for me to repeat what Dr. Phil already done explained to y'all and 'dat be that women perceive cuddling to be jest' dat' as apart from guys who correctly comprehend that cuddling is but a euphemism of tantalizing things to come.

Whats' can I say other than I be jest' keepin' it real 'cause y'all know dat' I do speak from da' bottom of my heart and elsewhere fer' that matter.

But alas, it wasn't to be that evening in spite of all my beseeching assurances to the ladies that I was quite skilled at cooking up a scrumptious breakfast omelet and of brewing an even better pot of coffee in the morning.

Nope, my gracious offer found no takers and unfortunately for me there wasn't to be any late night cuddlin' going on in a real bed that evening... at least not for me there weren't any.

'Cause like I saids before, among the last things that I wanted to do that evening was dinghy on out about a mile or so in open six foot swells and in gail force gusting winds. (Okay, perhaps less den' dat' but y'll knows what I mean. Besides,  I jest' can't quites help but "stretch da' truth" once in a whiles to quote 'sum feller by the name of Mark Twain.)

In any event, after trekking on over to the dinghy docks and after zipping my windbreaker all the way up, and after discretely taking a leak into the water, I ever so cautiously lowered myself into my dinghy and proceeded to give my two-stroke outboard starter-cord a good yank. And with the motor sputtering out of a sound sleep, I uncleated the painter and gave that dock a good shove.

In but a moment I've pulled away from what is usually a cluster-f*ck of dinghys all haphazardly strewn about at the Turtle Krawls dinghy dock. But only this time it just so happens to be late in the evening with but a handful of dinghys to be seen at that late hour of the night.

Soon afterwards I'm underway and motoring on out to my boat which now happens to be out on a hook somewhere off of the west end of Flemming Key. She is no longer tied off to a mooring ball as she had been just days earlier in the Garrison Bight Mooring Field.

For ya see, I had relocated my boat in anticipation of tax season soon becoming but a thing of the past and that I'd be free to set sail on out of Key West. And just as importantly I simply didn't want to incur the cost of leasing a mooring ball for another full month 'cause unfortunately for me, paying a pro-rated fee wasn't a permissible option per marina policy.

But it was while I was diligently motoring on out to my boat when crap gradually started to happen. No sooner had I motored on past the adjacent US Coast Guard station, when a moored vessel at that station flickered its spot light on and off in my direction.

And without so much as an afterthought, I readily convinced myself that that spotlight emanating from that moored CG vessel, simply didn't have a damned thing to do with me. Surely they had better things to do than to come pay me a visit on a crappy night. And rescuing a distressed sailor out at sea or sumptin' of the like was the first thing that happened to cross to my mind.

And when I say crappy, I mean crappy in every which way... crappy as in lousy weather but even more distressingly for me, crappy as in there wasn't to be any "cuddling" for me that evening after I'd furtively run up yet another bar tab.

In any event it couldn't have been but a minute or so later when my dinghy was suddenly and most unexpectedly engulfed in a flood of bright light. And there for a brief moment it felt as if I were somehow in Guantanamo, Cuba undergoing an intensive interrogation with none other than former Vice-President Dick Cheney towering over me and solemnly contemplating whether or not I should be subjected to a bit of water-boarding.

Fortunately for me however, I snapped out of it rather quickly and collected my thoughts all the while thinking to myself, "I ain't done nothing wrong... not lately anyways... So why in the heck are you harassing me for on this late, crappy, no-pootie-for-me hour?"

And yep, the source of that bright light was coming from none other than the same US Coast Guard vessel that I'd only dismissed but a few minutes earlier. Only this time that vessel had somehow managed to stealthily sneak up on my ass without me ever having suspected a thing.

And just as suddenly I could hear orders being barked out at me. I'm emphatically told to stop my dinghy while they come alongsides. I'm also instructed to furnish some personal identification along with my proof of boater registration.

"Hey captain... this is the US Coast Guard... vessel number such and such out of sector Key West, we're coming alongsides. I need to see some identification and your boat registration please.

Only that I ain't certain whether or not there had indeed been a "please" inserted somewhere in those instructions 'cause in hindsight those barked instructions sounded more like a "do as you're told, you P.O.S. vagrant-on-a-boat", and not as a polite, gentle request.

And after purposely fishing out and forking over both my Texas Driver's License and Boat Registration to that CG officer, I'm told to sit tight and wait a minute.(yeah right, as if I had any choice in the matter...)

The officer then proceeds to key in my personal data into his laptop computer presumably checking in with government authorities up in Quantico, Virginia to see whether or not there might be a file on my sorry ass.

Yet for all I know, he could have just as well been checking in with any number of CIA operatives operating out of Guantanamo, Cuba.

A number of awkward minutes pass by while the rest of the crew members silently scrutinize every movement I make. My dinghy is still brightly lit up with a spotlight and I'm now wondering whether or not that young recruit holding up a bright spotlight on my ass is someone whom I might have prepared a free, promotional Federal Tax Return for just days earlier in the week.

But that's when the officer in charge returns to address me. He emphatically proceeds to ask, "Have you ever been arrested before?" and just as suddenly I'm feeling as if I'd been just slammed on the side of the head by an errant boom, except that I ain't under sail or anything of the like when he emphatically barks out his inquiry.

And trust me on this one, feller sailers', getting slammed on the side of the head by an errant boom while under sail do indeed hurts. And I's also got's to tell 'ya 'dat gettin' struck on the noggin' can indeed make fer' the brain to occasionally malfunction as evidenced by all the foolishness 'dat I done in da past and not 'cause I happen to have a bit of Puertorican heritage in me as 'sum folks, including my lady-friend are somehow inclined to believe.

Any ways, with my eyes now wide open and with my eye-lids a blinking away, I respond with what must have sounded like a beseeching "NOooOOoo...",  as if pleading, don't start now, as in huh?  as in, you got's to be kiddin' me... as in, me arrested???, No Way Jose!... as in, C'mon Man!!, what you be talkin' 'bout!!?? ... as in, oh no!... not the water-boarding!

The officer in charge then proceeds to inform me that I am in violation of operating a dinghy at night without a light where upon I in turn, against my better judgement, hold up my dimly lit bicycle light that I'd brought along with me to double up and serve as a dinghy light.

His no nonsense response was succinct and to the point, "That's not gonna' cut it, you're gonna need a lot more candle light power than that" before endlessly carrying on about the late night collisions that do occasionally occur out in the Key West Channel and with all invariably having dire consequences.

I briefly consider interrupting that officer's diatribe to explain that it wasn't all my fault for having to dinghy on out to my boat at that late hour of the night without a decent dinghy light.

I'm tempted to explain that if any one of those boisterous, attractive, come-hither ladies that I'd been furtively hittin' on earlier that evening, had taken me up on my offer of a sumptuous breakfast omelet, then surely I wouldn't have been in the predicament that I now found myself to be in.

I nevertheless do think better of it and prudently elect not to explain my no-pootie-for-me misfortunes after somehow sensing that he couldn't have cared any less one way or another.

That officer then proceeds to emphatically growl at me and announce that the dinghy I'm operating isn't registered in my name and that it happens to be registered to some deceased fellows' estate up in Ft. Myers.

And with my throat suddenly tightening, I feebly respond that I had indeed previously attempted to secure clear title on multiple occasions but without any success. (okay, perhaps one half-ass, feeble attempt if y'll insist dat' I don't "stretch da' truth" any.)

I further explain that dealing with the Department of  Florida Licensing is an epic ordeal and that I'd originally purchased my dinghy from some fellow off of Craig's List who in turn had previously purchased a sailing vessel along with the dinghy from the estate in question without knowing that in the State of Florida, one needs to secure separate titles for each of the two vessels.

I nervously continue rambling on that the dinghy only later became available for sale after the fellow's sailing vessel had burned all the way down to the water line while under sail one day and that it all happened but a split second after him lighting up a cigarette while at the helm.

I'm tempted to further explain that the poor fellow didn't get a chance to finish smoking his cigarette and that the ensuing billowing smoke and fire could be seen from miles away and that within minutes, a US Coast Guard vessel along with a rescue helicopter were on the scene to save his sorry ass.

Nevertheless I once again prudently elect not to tell him the full story upon sensing that he had already heard enough out of my sorry ass.

Besides that, I certainly didn't want that officer to suddenly start suspecting that I might have perhaps indulged in more than just a few brewskies earlier that evening while furtively seeking out an attractive young lady to cuddle up with for the night and then some.

So yeah, I did the prudent thing and stopped my yapping and didn't start a whining 'bout not scoring any pootie earlier that evening. 'Cause like I saids before, I don't think for a moment dat' that officer would have cared any.

Besides that, it goes without saying 'dat any Puerto Rican having but a smidgen of "la mancha de platano', will tell ya' dat' "en boca cerrada, no entran moscas"...

And just as suddenly that officer proceeded to ask, "What kind of work do you do?", while making it sound as if I didn't have a day job to speak of and that in all likelihood I happened to earn my living by fishing for the square grouper in crappy, foul weather and without a proper dinghy light to boot.

Yet upon responding that I worked for a Tax Preparation franchise preparing Federal Tax Returns for Individuals, he kind-sorta softened up a tad while explaining yet again that I needed proper lights on the dinghy and that I needed to get my registration taken care of if I intended to operate it with a motor mounted on the transom.

And just like that I was let off the proverbial hook with but a warning and allowed to continue on my merry way out to my boat at anchor. And I'll also have y'll know dat' it be a good thing that I'd left my anchor light on all day for otherwise I jest' might not have found the dang thing at that late hour of the night.

It later occurred to me that just maybe, that officer had reasonably concluded that I had been diligently preparing tax returns all day after squinting at a computer screen for hours on end and thus had a very logical explanation for my bloodshot, blurry eyes at that late hour of the evening.

It was either that or he had yet to file his own tax return while perhaps thinking that he just might need my services to save his ass from the Tax Man.

In any event, I did indeed eventually motor on out to my boat that evening without further incident. Yet somehow I knew in the back of my mind that I was now on some one's radar screen and that my comings and goings in that channel would now be monitored. Not closely monitored mind ya' but monitored none the less.

Intuition furthermore told me that I shouldn't be surprised in the least if the US Coast Guard were to then advise some other maritime law enforcement agency to seek me out for a subsequent visit once the weather laid down.

Prophetic words for sure for that is what indeed happened but a few days later...

And I'll also have y'll know yet again dat' I was doing jest' fine gettin' on with my new landlubber life and all up until the other day when I just so happened to pause the TV clicker on the Weather Channel.

All of which kinda-sorta brings to mind a story dat' my lady-friend done told me awhiles' back after she and a medical doctor had successfully resuscitated a patient who had flat-lined while in the hospital emergency room.

She further goes on to say and that the dude, who for all intents and purposes, had been deader than a door nail, suddenly regains consciousness along with a heartbeat, and then proceeds to berate her and the doctor while belligerently hollering, "Gawd Dammit!!, I was doing just fine!! Why in the hell did you bring me back for!!??"

Yippers.... like I done already tolds' ya'.... I was doin' jest' fine dadgummit!